chamber of commerce

Sen. Davis Snowmobile bill receives unanimous approval
Thursday, January 08, 2004
Bill ensures coverage of clubs, limits liability and helps to preserve valuable maine industry
AUGUSTA - Maine Senate Republican leader Paul Davis (R-Sangerville) is pleased that the Legislature has passed L.D. 787, "An Act To Clarify the Landowner Liability Law with Regard to Construction and Maintenance of Snowmobile and Other Trails for Recreational Use."

When Northeast Insurance Company, the largest insurer of snowmobile clubs in the state, recently announced that it was ceasing to do business in Maine as a result of a pending lawsuit against a Maine snowmobile club a major problem was created for the entire snowmobile industry in Maine, and the $350 million it contributes annually to the state's economy. This action prompted Senator Davis to sponsor the bill. Senator Davis sees the legislation as an indication that state government can work with citizens to find solutions in a timely manner.

The purpose of the bill is to give snowmobile clubs liability protection similar to landowners. There are about 300 snowmobile clubs in the state and legislators heard from many of them during the process of passing this legislation.

"The Governor has indicated to me that he will sign the bill as soon as it is passed, and as an emergency it will go into effect immediately so that the law will apply to the current snowmobiling season. I am glad that we are finding success as we work to resolve this crisis," Senator Davis said. Senator Davis has credited much of the success of this effort to the Maine Snowmobile Association and the support of snowmobile clubs throughout the state and cites the need for continued efforts.

Bob Meyers, of the Maine Snowmobile Association, recently commented, "We are very appreciative of Senator Davis taking the lead in this problem. It appears as though his leadership and swift action may have averted a pretty serious situation."

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